As a human rights lawyer and candidate for US Congress, Qasim recognizes the ongoing struggle for equality faced by the LGBTQ+ community in the United States. The slow pace of progress, exemplified by the much-overdo repeal of discriminatory policies like “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” and the legalization of same-sex marriage, underscores the urgent need for comprehensive legislative action to safeguard LGBTQ+ rights. The recent extension of Civil Rights Act protections by the Supreme Court was a step in the right direction, but it is clear that further measures are necessary to combat discrimination and ensure full equality under the law. The alarming proliferation of anti-LGBTQ bills highlights the critical importance of proactive policy initiatives to address systemic challenges facing the LGBTQ+ community, including mental health disparities, over-policing, inadequate healthcare, and homelessness. As a member of Congress, Qasim will champion legislation that advances LGBTQ+ rights, promotes inclusivity, and dismantles systemic barriers to equality for all Americans.
Because Qasim believes that LGBTQ+ rights are human rights, he will:
- Fight to ensure all civil rights protections are applied equally to gender identity and sexuality as they are to race and other protected classes
- Address the heightened discrimination faced by LGBTQ+ people of color, including disparities in healthcare, housing, and income by advocating for their increased representation in healthcare settings, housing initiatives, and decision-making positions.
- Advocate for guaranteed access to gender-affirming healthcare services.
- Oppose legislation which attacks transgender individuals’ ability to participate in sports or imposes invasive genital exams on anyone, especially minors.
- Protect LGBTQ refugees and immigrants from systemic discrimination by implementing inclusive asylum policies.
- Prioritize access to mental health resources for the LGBTQ+ community, recognizing the elevated risk of mental health conditions among its members.
- Launch initiatives aimed at reducing LGBTQ+ youth homelessness, who are now 120% more likely to experience homelessness.
- Reform law enforcement practices that disproportionately over-police the LGBTQIA community.
- Introduce legislation to integrate cultural competency training in medical schools, ensuring that healthcare providers are aware of and sensitive to the unique needs of LGBTQ+ individuals. This includes addressing discriminatory practices reported by 24% of queer people of color.
- Propose and support legislation to strengthen the Equality Act, which prohibits discrimination based on sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity in areas including public accommodations and facilities, education, federal funding, employment, housing, credit, and the jury system.